I recently got the opportunity to spend some time with Harrison and Dr. Ping up at Purdue. We had a chance to see a lot of the change that is going on around campus – and… man, there’s a lot!
While we were exploring a bit, we also paid a visit to the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. Whenever someone’s new to the area, that’s one of my go to places because it’s been a Purdue establishment since 1929. In fact, it’s such a local treasure that Guy Fieri visited it back in 2007 for his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.
After leaving there, we went to meet up with one of my business mentors – Mike Cassidy – on campus.
As Mike was chatting with us about our plans, we came to a part of the discussion where we were talking about his students and members of the Amplify Hope program.
Something got stuck in my mind about both groups of people. I realized that they were trying to build their dreams without fully having a real plan in place. They’re doing what they’re doing because their emotions are telling them to. (That’s actually one of the things that Mike helps his students with – getting out of their own head and looking at their business objectively.)
There might be a few minor issues they’ve overlooked, but over time those minor bugs can lead to huge problems.
Why One Degree Can Make a Huge Difference
These minor issues might not seem like a big deal. I mean, a few minor tweaks going along the way and the problems they might cause can be mitigated, right?
However, if they’re not taken care of, then we’re looking at problems that might be noticed until it’s too late.
The traditional illustration of this principle is one of distance traveled:
Let’s say you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree. After one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?
- After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
- After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
- After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
- If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
- Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.
See what I’m talking about?
In real life, this can mean the difference of creating a business or nonprofit that is sustainable or pursuing a mission that makes someone take a 2nd or 3rd mortgage out on their house.
The key is to not let emotions and the pursuit of passion get in the way of our own success.
Delusions of Passion
David Anderson and Mark Nathan spoke in detail about this in their book, The Delusion of Passion: Why Millennials Struggle to Find Success.
In the book they argue that there’s several delusions we Millennials struggle with.
- Where there is Passion, There is No Pain
- Where there is Passion, There are No Problems
- Passion Precedes Total Commitment
- You Must Be Passionate About the Process
- Living Passionately Is all About You
When we believe one of these delusions, we’re knocking our navigation off by a degree or more from the very beginning!
I imagine it’d be worth your time to see if any of these perspectives are sabotaging your efforts to get to where you want in your career in life.